Fubo Mountain

For the first time since we’d arrived in Guilin, the sun came out. It was such a beautiful, warm day, I knew I had to go for a hike and explore the city. There are quite a few hikes within walking distance of our hotel, but you have to pay to get in to each one, some (a lot) more than others. I decided to start with the cheapest and closest one, Fubo Mountain 伏波山. Really, Fubo Bump is more like it, as it’s just a single hill jutting nearly straight up out of the flat landscape. But it was the cheapest hike and the closest, so I grabbed my gear and headed out.

fubu map.jpg
I apologize for the Chinglish map. Chinese Bing is not an optimal image search engine.

I started with a walk along the river; you can see my path in red on the map above. It was a nice walk with plenty to look at. There are little concrete walkways down by the water’s edge that I decided to explore. I enjoyed great views of the surrounding city and a few bird sightings. Every so often, I would head back up to the main sidewalk and was often greeted by groups of dancers or exercisers. They were not at all shy about goggling at me as I walked by, but weren’t too keen on being on camera.

walkway leading into a river in Guilin, China. The opposite bank hosts tall buildings and karst mountains.
The view from the Guilin River Walk

I admit that I did dawdle a little bit to really soak up the much needed sunshine and the beautiful scenery, but, in the end, the walk to Fubo took me only about 10 minutes. The front gate was all in Chinese, so I wasn’t entirely sure I was in the right place. I went up to the ticket counter, pointed to my map, and said in Chinese, “walk top of mountain.” She charged me ¥28, and I was in (I hoped).

I was the only person in the park, probably because I planned the walk around lunch and nap time (the Chinese siesta after lunch). I went to the first set of stairs I saw and started the climb up, which took me straight to the bathroom. Confused, I went back down and took off on the next set of stairs, which went… down. The base of the mountain is a hollow cave filled with over 200 Buddhas carved into the stone. Some of these carvings date back to the Tang Dynasty. I’d tell you how long ago that was, but since I don’t have Google, you’ll have to look it up yourself :p

After exploring the cave and the temple inside, I went and found another set of stairs and hoped it was the way up. It was. The hike was not difficult at all. The mountain is only about 670 feet tall and the path is a stone stairway. Halfway up there is a pagoda and a view of the Western side of the city. The view took my breath away. The karst mountains seem to be from a different world.

Arial view of Guilin, China from midway up Fubo Mountain. There is a red and green pagoda in the foreground, city with white buildings and blue roof in the mid, and the background hosts a mountain range with karst topography
The view from half-way up.

After spending way too much time just trying not to cry at the awe of it all, I kept climbing. The second half of the climb was a little steeper, but took less than five minutes. From the top, I got a 360 degree view of the entire city. Again, I was shocked by the views. To the East, the hills are layered for miles and nearly each one is dotted with a pagoda on top.

Arial view of Guilin, China and the Li River. Across the river, the buildings are colorful. Beyond the buildings is a karst mountain range

I was in shock. It was the most awe inspiring thing I have seen since Saint Peter’s Basilica. When my alarm went off (I told Josh I would be home at a specific time so he wouldn’t worry), I practically ran home. I couldn’t wait to tell him about my adventure. I am so excited to take him on a hike now and to keep exploring the beautiful countryside of Guilin.

If it is working, this is the travel video I made for Fubo Mountain. It is just me and my GoPro, so please excuse the poor quality. I am hoping for a gimbal for my birthday to reduce some of the bounciness. Enjoy!

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  1. Beautiful. What a great day. Love the Buddha’s. Didn’t get the video. Great tourist info.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Just watched your video and what an amazing view! Thank you for taking me along on this wonderful journey of yours and on a special note you are a very good tour guide!

  3. my friend Kim subscribed to your blog and she told me today she watched the video and she thought it was wonderful!

  4. Haha, it’s a good thing you went down the “wrong” stairs at Fubo first. Otherwise you may have never discovered that impressive looking cave with the 200 Buddhas carved into stone.

  5. Great post and the video is really interesting! I’ve been to China multiple times, but I’ve never made it to Guilin, unfortunately.

    1. OMG! You have to go! I have traveled quite a bit in China over the last 15 years and Guilin/Yangshuo are my absolute favorites. The scenery is amazing and the vibe is a lot more relaxed.

  6. Wow – The views are sensational and I really enjoyed your video. It looks like a really lovely place to visit. I have never been to mainland China but I would love to visit!

  7. Wow the view here is well worth the trek. I can see why it was an adventure you had to take. I haven’t made it to China yet, but this view makes me see its beauty and why i should. Thanks for the inspo!

  8. Lovely video. Thank you for introducing me to Fubo mountain and the elephant hill. The stories are always interesting, they help you remember the place well.

  9. I don’t know why but my previous comment is not visible anymore… China was not really on my bucket list first but I definitely loved when I visited it. Guilin was the best of it

  10. It looks like a beautiful and relaxing hike. I’ve never heard of Gulin but I suppose I need to add it to my long list of travels. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! If you make it to China, Guilin should definitely be on your “Must” list. haha

    1. Thank you! If you find yourself in China, Guilin and its neighboring town of Yangshuo are a must-see.

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